Oil Film on Water

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This award-winning short film features a thin layer of volatile oil on water. The oil evaporates quickest from shallow pools only microns deep, which appear bluish in the video. Surface instabilities along the edge of the pool create flow that draws oil in, generating the iridescent droplets seen floating among the evaporation pools. The droplets combine and coalesce as they come in contact with one another. Since droplets have a larger volume per surface area than the shallow pools, they evaporate more slowly. The behaviors observed here are important to applications like oil and fuel spills, which can persist longer if the floating fluid layer tends to form droplets. (Video credit: J. Hart; via txchnologist)

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